Trump Goes Kafka

by evanmcmurry

This line from Trump, on the Central Park Five’s settlement with the city, says a lot about what we get wrong about crime:

“The recipients must be laughing out loud at the stupidity of the city…Speak to the detectives on the case and try listening to the facts. These young men do not exactly have the pasts of angels.” [E.A.]

Leaving aside that Trump doesn’t exactly have the past of an angel either, the supposed mistakes of one’s past doubling as a presumption of guilt is how we get to “Trayvon Martin deserved to be shot because he maybe smoked pot once.” It’s a focus on the person rather than the action, a bizarre conviction that having sinned once means you’re guilty of any sin going forward. If only someone would write a book about that.

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